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Key messages that emerged from the working tables with mobility stakeholders

In the first two articles of this series, “Benchmark pilots for the development of the “Italian way to connected mobility”: a mapping of more than 160 cases” and “Financing mobility: a look at European and national programmes supporting mobility“, the main features of the 160 case studies mapped at international level and the initiatives related to the use of the PNRR funds in the main EU countries were described. These analyses were useful to identify benchmark initiatives, models of collaboration between mobility stakeholders and the directions in which Europe and some reference countries (Italy, France, Spain and Germany) are directing investments for the development of new mobility paradigms.

The evidence made it possible to identify the enabling factors that are necessary in the design and implementation of mobility initiatives based on connected technologies: the provision of infrastructure, cooperation and data exchange models, the presence of an ‘ecosystem’ of stakeholders and a favourable environment for experimentation.

To promote and foster the development of the above-mentioned enablers in the Italian context, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti organised, for the second consecutive year, an intensive stakeholder engagement activity.

Seven working tables were organised in 2022 as an opportunity to share the 14 pilot projects identified in 2021 with different mobility stakeholders and to observe them from different angles. The seven working tables – Urban Planning, Road Safety, Mobility as a Service, Behavioural-based Pricing, Fleet Efficiency Monitoring, Transition to green, Data Exchange Ecosystems – refer to the four strategic areas at the basis of the project ‘The development of the Italian way to connected mobility’: Smart and Connected Mobility as enablers of the Smart City, Mobility as a Service, Connected Mobility and Fleet Management, Ecosystems and Data Spaces for the co-creation of services.

Figure 1 The four strategic development areas and the seven working tables

In total, more than 40 mobility actors from different sectors and fields participated in the stakeholder engagement activities.

Figure 2 Stakeholders who participated in the seven working tables

The involvement of such a large and diverse group of stakeholders allowed OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti to identify several key messages for each working table, which were useful for guiding the initiative and gaining insights for operationally steering the initiative.

This article describes the evidence and results of the working tables referring to the first two strategic areas, i.e. ‘Smart and Connected Mobility as enablers of the Smart City’ and ‘Mobility as a Service’ – the following article will be devoted to the remaining two strategic areas.

The first table focused on the development models of cities enabled by digital and connected technologies. This area is particularly important considering the relevance of cities within modern society: cities occupy about 2% of the total land area, but at the same time produce 80% of the world’s GDP, over 80% of patents and scientific innovations, and over 70% of CO2 emissions. Moreover, worldwide, 75% of the demand for mobility occurs on an urban scale.

In Italy, private mobility is confirmed as a central node of urban travel, chosen as the primary form of mobility by more than 55% of citizens. The importance of private means of transport is also clear when looking at the motorisation rate: Italy ranks second in the EU with around 663 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants – well above the European average of 520.

Figure 3 Motorisation rate in EU27+UK. Source: elaboration The European House – Ambrosetti on Eurostat data, 2022

Moreover, over the last five years, the ‘pressure’ of vehicles in urban areas has been steadily increasing (+4.3% over the period 2015-2020), a trend that is at odds with the need for liveability and sustainability in cities. For example, the presence of bicycle lanes in Italy increased by +15.5% over the same period. In addition to this, there is the need to increase green and socialising spaces and the opportunity to shape urban space to favour the economic attractiveness of the territory.

To improve city planning, it will be crucial to provide an integration between mobility, urban planning and energy management plans. Only by developing a synergetic vision between the different subject areas will it be possible to define medium- to long-term plans in line with society’s development goals.

Considering the evidence described above and what emerged from the working table, the following five key elements were identified:

  • Data are an indispensable element in re-planning cities. The use of data not only enables a dynamic and ‘flexible’ management of the city, but also makes it possible to define new forecasting and planning approaches through ex-ante estimation of possible impacts;
  • The reconquest of public space, as a social and business innovation, is the main challenge for cities today and in this, mobility management is a key element;
  • At the city level, there are many traditionally uncoordinated planning activities. Mobility is a cross-cutting element that impacts on several planning areas and orchestration is essential to ensure effective coordination of actions;
  • Creating innovation in urban mobility requires active collaboration between public and private partnerships, in which each can enhance its core business. This also requires the definition of a regulatory framework to streamline the processes of introducing innovation in both technology and process experimentation;
  • Small and medium-sized Italian cities have specific needs that cannot be addressed with solutions created for larger metropolitan contexts. Therefore, it is key to promote experimentation on use cases specific to small and medium-sized cities.

Also, with reference to the first strategic area, a working table dedicated to road safety was held.

The issue of road safety is certainly relevant for the development of mobility and it has been a central theme of many institutional initiatives at international level for a long time. Despite this, in 2020, 18,844 road deaths were recorded in the EU, 2,390 of which in Italy (12.7%). It is necessary to consider that in Italy the incidence of deaths per million inhabitants is higher than that of its European peers, though better than the European average: 42.3 in EU27 vs. 40.1 in Italy vs. 39.0 in France vs. 32.8 in Germany vs. 28.9 in Spain.

Figure 4 Road deaths in relation to number of inhabitants, (road deaths per million inhabitants), 2010 and 2020 Source: elaboration The European House – Ambrosetti on European Transport Safety Council, 2022

To significantly reduce the number of road accidents, it will be crucial to exploit connected technologies to create mechanisms to limit risks during daily journeys. In fact, 92 per cent of deaths in Europe occur on urban and rural roads. Future development actions should include the creation of new active prevention management systems and the deployment of passive prevention systems. In addition, the development of interoperable platforms and advanced technological systems for connected vehicles will make it possible to reduce the time needed to intervene in the event of an accident and thus reduce the impact even ex post.

With reference to road safety issues, two new areas also emerged to be addressed, namely micro-mobility (which poses new challenges in terms of legislation) and cybersecurity, which must ensure the protection of connected vehicle applications and thus the safety of people on the road.

Figure 5 The fields of action of road safety. Source: elaboration The European House – Ambrosetti, 2022

Three key messages were identified within the road safety table:

  • Road accidents account for around 2% of Italy’s GDP, so it is essential to act to promote both active and passive safety by ensuring rapid response times to emergencies. Connected technologies are a fundamental ‘ally’ as they make it possible to:
    • collect timely data useful for understanding ‘error factors’;
    • prevent and correct human errors (mainly due to distraction);
    • manage emergency phases quickly.
  • The analysis of driving styles and correlation with the causes of accidents is a key activity for spreading risk awareness and activating processes of coaching and self-learning about one’s mistakes;
  • Connectivity and the spread of new forms of mobility pose further challenges to road safety issues. For example, it is increasingly important to look at cyber-risks that may become relevant with the spread of connected vehicles and the need for software capable of having over-the-air updates (a prerequisite in increasingly automated vehicles).

Within the framework of the second strategic guideline, ‘Mobility-as-a Service’, two further working tables were shared, the first of which focused on identifying opportunities and challenges for the development of MaaS, new integrated mobility solutions that in turn generate benefits for citizens in terms of a simplified user experience and thus more services.

In this context, the funds allocated by the PNRR were analysed: in January 2022, a first tranche of resources (EUR 16.9 million) was allocated to three metropolitan cities – Milan, Rome and Naples – for the development of the MaaS paradigm. In May 2022, a second call for proposals (EUR 16.9 million) was launched to finance the development of a further three initiatives among Italian metropolitan cities.

Figure 6 PNRR second call for the development of MaaS. Source: elaboration The European House – Ambrosetti on second MaaS call, 2022

From the analyses carried out, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti believe that the focus of the city and services will broaden to consider the ‘extended city’ within which specific solutions for small municipalities, which increasingly, especially in Italy, constitute a heritage to be enhanced and therefore require avenues for new forms of mobility, must find their place.

The following key messages emerged from this round table:

  • In the development of MaaS solutions, for which a combination of public service and private mobility is essential, the public administration will have to take on the role of coordinator by identifying the conditionalities of public interest and social cohesion;
  • The data provide a key to understanding different territories in order to tailor business models to specific territorial contexts and enable the competitive development of innovative solutions;
  • MaaS is not only a model through which to provide mobility offers in an integrated manner, but above all a tool through which to rethink the organisation of mobility services in a ‘demand-driven’ logic;
  • The organisation of MaaS services can benefit from the integration of different data sources that help to improve mobility demand forecasting capabilities.

As part of the MaaS-related topics, a specific working table also dealt with ‘Behavioural-based pricing’, and some evidence emerged of the value of connected vehicle technologies that could guide the development of a new mobility paradigm. In particular:

  • The mobility models of the future require a rethinking of pricing mechanisms in order to consider not only the risks, but also the positive externalities linked to user behaviour;
  • Municipalities have the opportunity to establish rewarding mechanisms that, in synergy with sanctioning models, encourage the adoption of virtuous behaviour by citizens in their travels;
  • Connected technologies make it possible to rethink insurance mechanisms by taking into account preferences towards different forms of mobility, aggregating in risk certificates also the behaviour in the use of different forms of vehicles.

In the next article in this series, the other two strategic levers ‘Connected mobility and fleet management’ and ‘Ecosystems and data spaces for co-creation of services’ will be explored in depth, describing the key messages that emerged from the working tables and the supporting evidence.


The European House – Ambrosetti

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